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Patty [Oldenburg] Mucha Archive

New York City Art World in the Sixties & Seventies

The Patty Mucha Archive features correspondence, manuscripts, artworks, documents and ephemera from a wild index of artists, poets, dancers and performers active in the era of Pop Art, Happenings, E.A.T., Yippies and Punk including: Olga Adorno, David Bradshaw, Joe Brainard, Gregory Corso, Jean Dupuy, Bob Dylan, Kenward Elmslie, Deborah Hay, Richard Hell, Jasper Johns, Ray Johnson, Ruth Kligman, Billy Klüver, Frosty Myers, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Clarice Rivers, Larry Rivers, Lucas Samaras, Carolee Schneemann and Andy Warhol to name a few.

Ray Gun Theater. Front of Postcard. Photograph by Robert McElroy of Patty in the Claes Oldenburg 1960 Happening "Circus: Ironworks & Fotodeath" at the Reuben Gallery. The photograph is also featured on the cover and frontispiece of Michael Kirby's seminal 1965 book Happenings.


Patty Mucha Biography

Patty Mucha (Patricia Muschinski) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 26, 1935. She attended Wisconsin State Teachers College in Milwaukee (now the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), where she majored in art. Patty first saw Claes Oldenburg while she was at the Oxbow Summer School of Painting and later went to visit him in his Chicago studio. In 1957 she moved to New York to become an artist and met Claes by accident after being there 2 months. At the time he was painting portraits and Mucha became one of his nude models. The last painting that Oldenburg claims to have painted is of Patty Mucha and is titled “Girl with Fur Piece, Portrait of Pat.” She and Oldenburg were married in 1960 and divorced in 1970. “It was really clear from the start that there was only room for one artist and he considered himself the artist,” Mucha acknowledges. “I very willingly accepted that because he was so powerful and wonderful as an artist. And then, after a while, I became part of it anyway.”

Patty Mucha was not only Oldenburg’s muse for his main performance ensemble but collaborator for all of his early sewn sculptures. Her contribution to the invention of soft sculpture was the result of quickly needing to produce large sculptures for Oldenburg’s first exhibition at the Green Gallery in 1962. She appeared in his Ray Gun Theater, which they produced in 1962, and collaborated in sewing costumes and constructing objects and sets for his Happenings and installations. She appeared in Oldenburg films made by Rudy Wurlitzer and Robert Breer as well as in films by Jean Dupuy, Rudy Burckhardt, Andy Warhol and Red Grooms. She also participated in the Happenings of Jim Dine, Robert Whitman, Dick Higgins, Alex Hay, Steve Paxton, Simone Forti, and Sally Gross.

Patty Mucha farms, writes and paints near St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Her essential role in the Pop Art and Happenings scenes is revealed in her as-yet-unpublished memoir, Clean Slate: My Life in the 1960’s New York Art World. Portions of the book have appeared in Art in America as well as in the catalog Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958–1968. Her poetry books include Poems Traveling, 1971-1973 (Panorama, 1973) and See Vermont: Poems, 1974-1978 (Poets Mimeo Cooperative, 1979).

(Biographical note adapted, in part, from Billy Klüver and Julie Martin’s entry on Patty Mucha in Jill Berk Jiminez, ed. Dictionary of Artists' Models. Routledge, 2001.)


Selected Highlights from the Collection

(Unless otherwise noted, quotations in the following descriptions come from correspondence with Patty Mucha and from her unpublished memoir.)

Claes and Patty Oldenburg. Copy of a photo by Ugo Mulas taken at Claes' studio-loft at 48 Howard Street.

According to Patty: "The giant Soft Hamburger was the first of the three that we tackled. Although Claes' official names for these pieces imply their scale by his suggestion that they sit on the floor, I have difficulty calling them by his titles that I find too prosaic. We brought the portable sewing machine up to the 57th Street gallery, which now became our studio. I say 'our' studio because at this juncture all the construction was accomplished by sewing - a technique of which Claes had little knowledge."


Claes and Patty Oldenburg. Copy of a Charles Moore photograph taken at Patty and Claes’ loft in which they both lived and worked.

The two moved into the loft in 1965 and lived there until Claes left in 1969. Patty “owned it until Larry Rivers bought it from me (at a steal, I might add). Claes' studio was on the 13th Street side. The living area was the 14th Street side.”

Patty recalls: “...the spectacular Giant Fans (the Ghost version and the impressive black vinyl one which later hung in the Buckminster Fuller Dome at the U.S. pavilion at the World’s Fair in Montreal during Expo ‘67) - all came about with the aid of the industrial sewing machine.”


Claes Oldenburg. First page of letter from Claes to Patty, dated May 13, 1968.

Claes Oldenburg. Letter written to Patty from Claes during her trip to Greece, shortly after their divorce, dated July 8, 1971.

Patty was visiting various Greek islands and spent a week with poet Charles Henri Ford at his home in Khania, Crete. Although Patty did not officially drop the Oldenburg name until 1980, Claes has addressed her in this letter “Dear P.M.”


Claes Oldenburg. Front of postcard with drawing of a mouse, from Claes to Patty, dated July 30, 1972. There is also a note on the verso and is signed by Claes. This was sent to Patty while she was still in Miami Beach after the Democratic National Convention.


Ray Gun Theater. Flyer for the "Gayety" Happening at Lexington Hall, University of Chicago, February 8, 9, and 10, 1963.

Patty remembers visiting strip joints with Claes in Chicago: “Claes could justify what I thought was his dirty old man habit by using these images to make some outrageously shocking, yet beautiful drawings. As we sat, sipping scotch on the rocks, eyeing the broads, he made me feel it was okay for me to be there, even though I would be the only woman in those darkened bars. One such famous burlesque house was named ‘Gayety.’ This became the title for his Happening.”


Ray Gun Theater. Front of Postcard. Photograph by Robert McElroy of Patty in the Claes’ 1960 Happening "Blackouts" at the Reuben Gallery. The photograph is also featured on the cover and frontispiece of Michael Kirby’s seminal 1965 book Happenings.

According to Patty: “It was during the series of ten Happenings that took place at his studio/store front on east 2nd Street in 1962, which Claes referred to as the Ray Gun Theater - his name for happenings - that I felt an acting bug nuzzle its way into my being. The ten separate works were entitled: Store Days I & II, Necropolis I & II, Injun I & II, Voyages I & II, and World’s Fair I & II. These names held special meanings to him, however obtuse they might have seemed to the rest of us. Actions, visual effects or sounds, may have reflected the titles and individualized each particular set. For me, however, in the end, all ten titles seemed to merge into one. To me, they were simply the ‘Store’ Happenings.”

Ray Gun Theater. Back of postcard. Winter - Spring 1962 performance schedule for Claes Oldenburg's "Ray Gun Theater." Performances include: "Store Days," "Nekropolis," "Injun (N.Y.C.)," "Voyages," "World's Fair."


Carolee Schneeman. Letter dated June 27, 1970.

Patty remembers, “My first encounter with Carolee Schneemann was at a party she threw with Jim Tenney, the composer. It was a typical wild drinking event, a hot evening. At one point, someone put a fist though a wall, in jest. Rough and tumble dancing, skirts flying. To be around Carolee was always a lot of fun. Her braininess competed with the male artists of the time, even though her struggle to establish her own identity was obvious…”

Carolee Schneemann was a key innovator of Happenings and she also performed in other artist’s performances. For example, Patty notes that in "Store Days #1," Claes asked her “to stand on the narrow mantle ledge above the old fireplace in the back room. Although it was only about four feet off the ground, she said she was terrified of heights. Therefore, he suggested that while walking back and forth on it she take flash photos of the audience who sat just beneath her. While doing this with her usual dramatic flare, she managed to lose her fear of heights - a surprise bonus - therapy!”


Robert Rauschenberg. Signed 8 x 10 inch black and white photograph given to Patty by Rauschenberg, n.d. It is signed “Merry Xmas Rauschenberg.”

Patty and Claes were friends and were active in the same social and art circles as was Bob Rauschenberg. Patty and Bob remained friends after her divorce from Claes.

Patty recalls an Alex Hay performance, while she and Claes were visiting Los Angeles. Alex invited Robert Rauschenberg, Deborah Hay and Patty...”to participate in his dance performance that would take place in a vast roller skating arena in Pasadena. It was not so much a dance as it was a rolling and crawling event. Our bodies just rolled around on the well-worn wooden floor. Bits of wood flicked off and imbedded into my upper back where the material of my leotard left off. We rolled and we rolled.”

The archive contains other items related to Rauschenberg. Included are copies of letters from Patty, a 1972 handwritten letter from Bob, a signed 1986 New Year card on the 1986 Time magazine Rauschenberg created cover for “Man of the Year” Deng Xiaoping and the Dec. 30, 1979 Miami Herald Sunday magazine, Tropic with an original Rauschenberg as its cover.


Jasper Johns. Postcard postmarked December 5, 1969.

Patty has written, “ was always a pleasure to be around Jasper’s evil wit.”



Andy Warhol. SX-70 of Patty and Jay Craven taken by Warhol at his studio in 1972 or 73. Initialed by Warhol. Craven was Patty’s boyfriend at the time.

Patty and Andy Warhol were friends from the early 1960s. She writes, “My friendship with Andy led to our participation as singers in a pre-’Velvet Underground’ band, which we dubbed ‘The Druds’. It was lots of fun. We rehearsed downtown at Walter De Maria’s loft on Walker Street.” Other band members included Walter DeMaria on drums, LaMonte Young on saxophone, and Larry Poons on guitar. Lucas Samaras and Warhol were back-up singers. [Warhol’s 1962 portrait of Patty sold at auction in 2011.]

Patty appeared in Warhol’s film “Tarzan and Jane Regained, Sort of…” along with Taylor Mead (to whom she was once ceremoniously “blessed” in marriage by Allen Ginsberg), Dennis Hopper, Gerard Malanga, Claes Oldenburg, John Chamberlain and others.


Lucas Samaras. Polaroid self-portrait with
letter, signed and dated on verso June 15,

The letter is addressed to Poopsie (Patty) and Richard (Hell).

Samaras participated in Allan Kaprow’s original “18 Happenings in 6 Parts” (1959) and shortly thereafter became close friends to Claes and Patty.

Excerpt from a Robert Ayers iinterview with Claes Oldenburg:

How collaborative were your happenings? Were you very much in charge?

Well I was definitely the director. Of course I had Lucas and I had Patty, and they were the center of it. You could do anything with just those two. They related very much to one another. At that time Lucas was planning to be an actor, and he mainly wanted to be seen.

The archive also includes other items from Lucas, including several handwritten postcards, a handwritten letter, a photocopy of “For Patty,” a poem by Lucas, an additional Polaroid photograph, and an announcement for “Lucas Samaras: Chair Transformations,” at Pace Gallery, October 3-31,1970.


Larry Rivers. Letter from Sept. 17, 1975.

Clarice Rivers. Letter is from the early 1970s.

Larry Rivers married Clarice Price, a Welsh schoolteacher who cared for his two sons, in 1961. Rivers and Clarice Price had two daughters, Gwynne and Emma. Larry and Clarice were close friends of the Oldenburgs. The Rivers lived above the Oldenburgs in a Fourteenth Street loft building and were close friends of Kenneth Koch, Kenward Elmslie and the rest of the New York Poets at that time. After six years, Clarice and Larry separated but were never legally divorced. Patty and Clarice spent much time together after Patty’s divorce from Claes and Clarice’s physical separation from Larry.

There are approx. 20 pages of letters from Larry Rivers in the archive.

The archive contains 18 handwritten postcards and approx. 50 pages of typewritten and handwritten letters from Clarice to Patty.

Bob Dylan. This letter from Dylan, from the Winter of 1971, is a response to Patty’s thank you letter and poem.

In 1971 Patty helped throw an artists auction, at Joe Lo Guidice’s gallery on Broome Street, for the San Francisco underground SunDance magazine. (Patty had them also designate that one third of the proceeds would go to the St. Mark’s Poetry Project.) After stopping in to look at the pre-auction exhibit, Patty convinced Dylan to contribute something. According to Patty: “Bobby offered us the front end of a beat-up truck that was parked somewhere in New Jersey. We had a spacey conversation regarding the practicality of getting it into the gallery, which would necessitate removing a large front plate glass window. Instead, he went back into the streets and reappeared shortly thereafter with a street poster advertising 'Pads' that he had ripped off a nearby building. It went for $150.”


Richard Hell. Poet, writer, and punk rock innovator known for his playing in bands such as Television, The Heartbreakers, and Richard Hell & The Voidoids. This photograph by Bevan Davies, was taken circa 1970. “Before Richard turned PUNK.”

Richard Hell. The letter on Genesis : Grasp letterhead is dated July 2, 1969. Genesis : Grasp was a small press poetry magazine and press edited by Richard Meyers (Hell’s given name) and poet David Giannini.

Patty met Richard and “Tommy Miller,” the future Tom Verlaine at the artist’s bar, St. Adrian’s at the Broadway Central Hotel in early 1969. Richard was 19, Patty was about to turn 35, and they were soon living together. It was an important time and an important relationship for both. Richard has written: “The two and a half years from early 1969 through summer/fall 1971 that began when I met Patty and ended with the composition of Wanna Go Out? (a set of collaborative poems written by Tom [Verlaine] and me in the persona of a despairing, faux-vicious hooker named Theresa Stern) were probably my most formative.” Patty and Richard continue to be friends in regular contact with one another.

There is extensive Richard Hell material in the archive including letters, drawings, manuscripts, photographs and more: 15 postcards and approx. 110 pages of letters, as well as approx. 65 pages of poems and drawings by Hell.


Gregory Corso. Original drawing, undated, probably 1970.

Patty first met Gregory Corso at a party given by Charles Henri Ford at his apartment in the Dakota. She recalls “Gregory was quite a madman...He just gave them [the drawings and manuscripts in her archive] to me later...I think he liked me....I would see him from time to time...”


Kenward Elmslie. "For Patty," undated poem.

Patty writes, “One deep crush was over a poet/writer/lyricist Kenward Elmslie, a confirmed homosexual who was going through a ‘midlife reexamining of self’ and was exploring the opposite sex. Did we shake up the poetry world? Maybe. I think his gay friends were enjoying this bit of gossip, but I loved his writing and it influenced my own attempts, greatly - so that was the excuse I gave my heart. I thought, without a doubt, that we would have made the perfect couple. When ‘The Grass Harp’ musical was touring ‘on the road’ doing its pre-Broadway stint, (was it Ohio?), I traveled there to see it and be with Kenward. He had written the lyrics for the musical version of the Truman Capote book. Ruth Ford and Celeste Holme were part of the cast who sang his words. While Kenward drank in the bar with Truman in playful conversation about their play did I turn an eye, was I being blind to the fact that both men were definitely gay? (Years later, when I searched for a home to buy in Vermont, it was in Kenward's house in Calais, VT, that I stayed for two weeks with my new companion, as we surveyed the area’s realtors. He remains dear in my heart).”

The archive includes approx. 15 pages of letters and 55 postcards from Kenward Elmslie.


Youth International Party (Yippies). Letter written by Patty, on Youth International Party stationery, to Ken [Kenneth Noland?] asking him to come to Miami and participate in five days of cultural activity surrounding the Democratic National Convention. Rubber-stamped in red is the YIP! Whale, designed and drawn by Claes Oldenburg.

In 1972 Patty was invited by Jerry Rubin to join the Yippies in Miami Beach that summer. She became part of the YIP National Council, which included, among others, Abbie Hoffman, Ed Sanders and Rubin. Patty’s first responsibility was to find lodging for the Yippies during the Democratic National Convention. She succeeded in renting out the entire top floor of the Hotel Albion (a postcard from the Hotel is in the archive). She was not as successful with organizing her art world friends in joining her in demonstrating against the Vietnam War. A few artists did show up in Miami Beach, including Les Levine (fresh from a visit with the IRA in Ireland), Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. Some, including Frosty Myers (see below) sent their work in support. Patty also organized the woman’s coalition that included speakers such as poet Diane Di Prima and activist Jane Fonda.


Both the rubber-stamp and original Oldenburg drawing reside in the archive.


Youth International Party. Forrest “Frosty” Myers. One of two pages of detailed instructions from Frosty for his projection during the 1972 Republican National Convention.

Frosty exhibited at the Park Place Gallery and is best known for “The Wall,” also known as “The Gateway to Soho,” a piece of minimalist art that was constructed in 1973 as part of the building at 599 Broadway (at Houston) in New York’s Soho neighborhood.

Frosty was one of the few artists who responded to her request for artists to participate at the Convention. She recounts faithfully following his instructions by renting three monstrous arc lights and setting them “into Flamingo Park, where demonstrators camped in their tents. The lights crisscrossed the evening sky as a giant Tee Pee in an angle he had determined. It illuminated throughout the Republican Convention and was quite impressive.”

The archive includes material related to Patty’s involvement with the Yippies and includes correspondence, “Ten Days to Change the World” poster (22 x 28 3/4 inches) with a drawing by Claes Oldenburg for the Y.I.P., a marker drawing by Claes Oldenburg (8 x 5 inches) of the YIP! whale that was used to produce the YIP! rubber stamp,several snapshots by Les Levine (in the Les Levine folder), and ephemera. It also contains some material related to Patty’s action that involved the renting of Tago, an elephant from the Ringling Brothers Circus. Allen Kaprow’s response to Patty’s invitation to participate in the Y.I.P. cultural festival at the Democratic National Convention can be found in the Allen Kaprow folder.


Guerilla Art Action Group (GAAG). Engraved letter to Richard Nixon. This is number 100 of 150 and is signed by both Jon Hendricks and Jean Toche.

Patty was a friend of the artist Jon Hendricks. He and Jean Toche formed GAAG, which began in the late 60s and was dedicated to creating art actions, which challenged people in positions of power.

Patty also became involved with the National Committee for John and Yoko on the request of Hendricks. Both she and Richard Hell were active in making phone calls on behalf of John and Yoko.

Also included in the archive (in the Jon Hendricks folder) is a typescript of the poem “Ken Dewey” by Jon Hendricks on National Committee for John and Yoko stationery along with a few other items related to the National Committee.


Olga Adorno and Jean Dupuy. Olga Adorno. Letter written February 9, 1982.

A twenty-one year old Patty met Olga Adorno shortly after she arrived in New York. They worked together at ASCAP on Madison Avenue, and later Olga appeared as Miss Washington in Claes’ "Stars" at Alice Denney’s Washington Gallery of Art.

Olga performed at the 2008 High Zero Festival of Experimental Improvised Music and their web site said: “In the world of avant-garde, particularly in relation to Fluxus and Happenings of New York in the 1960s, Olga Adorno is a legendary figure. Severely under-documented, but highly influential, her performances at Judson Church and loft spaces in Manhattan defined the extreme limit of ineffable, hard to explain, but extremely meaningful actions within what was already a severely challenging artistic subculture.”

Perhaps she is best known for her screen test for Andy Warhol that was featured in his film, The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women. She and Billy Klüver married and in 1964 Andy threw them a wedding party. After her divorce from Klüver she married Jean Dupuy.

Patty described Olga at her and Claes’ wedding...“Olga wore green. She was my witness. Olga Shortell, which the registrar misspelled as: ShorTALL, (a.k.a. Adorno, later to be Klüver and then Dupuy) - Olga, the Puerto Rican-American beauty. When she would dance, other dancers would stand still and watch her in a trance.”

There are approx. 310 pages of letters, many with drawings and sketches, from between 1970 – 2008 and approx. 25 postcards from Olga to Patty.


Olga Adorno and Jean Dupuy. Jean Dupuy. Inscribed, original artwork, 1984.

Dupuy is a pioneer of work combining art and technology. He works in the fields of conceptual art, performance art, painting, installation, sculpture and video art. In 1976 he acquired the last of George Maciunas’ artists’ co-op lofts in New York and moved into the space with Olga Adorno where he opened the Grommet Studio that presented many vital art performances and exhibitions.

The Grommet Gallery opened under Emily Harvey's direction on January 15, 1982 with Olga's first solo exhibition. It was during this period that Emily Harvey first became acquainted with the Fluxus movement and the artists she would later represent. She re-founded the gallery in her own name when Jean and Olga moved to France in the spring of 1984.

The archive has an assortment of small artworks on paper, as well as correspondence and ephemera, from Jean Dupuy.


Öyvind Fahlström. Letter dated June 14, 1972.

Patty was introduced to the Swedish artists Öyvind Fahlström and his wife Barbo Östlihn through Billy Klüver shortly after their arrival in New York in 1961 .


Öyvind Fahlström. Photograph by Bruce Glushakow, of Fahlström’s “Mao-Hope March” which was filmed on September 1, 1966 in New York City.

Fahlstrom’s “Mao-Hope March” was originally made to be incorporated into his theatrical work, “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," staged during “9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering,” October 12–23, 1966, at the 69th Regiment Armory on 26th Street in Manhattan, an event organized by Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.). Fahlstrom has made notes on the verso of the photograph indicating, among other things, the identity of three of the participants, including Barbo Östlihn, Soren Brunes and Öyvind Fahlström.


David Bradshaw. Inscribed Xerox art piece probably from 1978.

During the 1960s Bradshaw participated in various performance art pieces with Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton, Trisha Brown, La Monte Young and Yvonne Rainer. He played an integral part in building out the exhibition space, 112 Greene Street. In 1969, Bradshaw was one of seven artists commissioned by Rosa Esman to participate in the project 7 Objects/69, a limited edition that included work by Eva Hesse, Richard Serra, Alan Saret, Keith Sonnier, and Steven Kaltenbach, and Bruce Nauman.

Bradshaw met William Burroughs in 1967 and they became friends. The two men recognized shooting as an art form and collaborated throughout the years. One of their works together was also a collaboration with Laurie Anderson. Bradshaw was one of the pallbearers at Burroughs' funeral and placed Burroughs' favorite pistol in his hand prior to burial.

Patty remembers a visit from Deborah Hay and David Bradshaw: “David was one of several protégés of Bob Rauschenberg. He wore his blonde hair in an afro and talked about his revolutionary black friends. His art consisted of interesting explosions, sometimes at the expense of water creatures, as the pond they called home might suddenly blow up with a surprise fountain in its center, shooting up to a height of twenty feet. He would document this in film - his version of earth art.” As a house gift, David provided Patty with her first Acid trip. Deborah and David, together would later move to their commune-style farm in Vermont. Patty and David remained friends throughout the years.

The archive contains correspondence, cards, artwork, and a “copy of notes [of] a meditation with 300 cortege to bury William,” all from David Bradshaw.


Deborah Hay. Letter written to Patty from Deborah ca. 1972–73. Hay had moved from New York to Vermont with David Bradshaw to create a commune-style farm.

Hay is a choreographer and dancer. She was part of a group of experimental artists deeply influenced by Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Together they established the Judson Dance Theatre in 1962. Hay was a close friend of the Oldenburgs and Patty recounts Deborah helping with the sewing of some of Claes’ sculptures: “...Debby would spend long moments making yet one more covered button to delineate a subway stop on the New York Subway Map.” Patty later had her first LSD experience with Hay and her boyfriend, the artist David Bradshaw. During the trip Hay and Patty wrote a collaborative poem (found in the “Springs, L.I. Poems” folder). Their friendship continued beyond their early New York days.

The archive contains correspondence as well as ephemera from Deborah Hay.


Ruth Kligman. Letter, August 22, 1972.

Ruth Kligman was an abstract artist and writer known as the muse of several artists including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Patty recalls meeting Ruth early in her relationship with Claes: “Enter Ruth Kligman, Ms. Femme fatale. Ruthie troublemaker! Sashaying into the room looking like the cat’s ass, creating electricity in already difficult scenarios...she was famous (or infamous) for having had an affair with Jackson Pollock and being present with him during the last moments of his life, something she would repeat often to anyone within earshot...One very late evening/early morning in the beginning of the ‘60’s, we found ourselves along with Bob McElroy in her Fourteenth Street loft, drunk as coots. C.O. and I began to bicker. Ruth egged us on. When things got really nasty and heated up, Ruthie offered me a knife. Luckily, I refused to take it from her.” After Patty’s divorce, she and Ruth became close friends. “She became plain old Ruthie to me, just another vulnerable woman - and, in fairness, I might add, another woman artist/victim.”


Ray Johnson. One of three Ray Johnson items that were sent to “Patio Oldenburg,” April, 12, 1971.

The Patio image was also reused on Ray’s invitation (included in the archive) to the first meeting of the Marcel Duchamp Club.

According to Patty’s memory: “Ray would show up, sometimes at our loft, or at openings...He never stayed too long, or at least in my recollection, he'd pop in and leave abruptly. That was his style. I found him a little "spooky". I mean, his smile. I thought he was nuts. He would float in and out and would say strange things...and give you those little collages on cards, etc...His art was probably too subtle for me to understand at the time...(Maybe I didn't take it seriously?)...He was an interesting character who was friendly...someone who surveyed the periphery of the art world...looking in or down on it...keeping his distance, not getting involved with it. Or maybe I kept my distance from him. Did he scare me? Who the hell knows? I mean, he was eccentric...but also fun. Does this make sense? Somewhere in my mind's eye, I see him with Remy Charlip, the dancer...”

The archive also includes a handwritten card from Ray to Patty and an envelope with 11 assorted items sent to Patty from Ray.


Niki de Saint Phalle. Still from an unfinished 1971 film by Prince Rainer Von Dietz Hessen (Clarice River’s boyfriend at the time). It was shot at “La Commanderie” in Dannemois, a small village not far from Soissy sur l’Ecole at Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely’s country home. Shown are Pontus Hultén (with helmet), Niki de Saint Phalle, Mimi Johnson, Clarice Rivers, Rico Weber and Patty Oldenburg.

Patty recalls the making of the film: “[We] would don extravagant wigs - if female, or army helmets - if male. This was a ‘war of the sexes’ as we romped on a built-up mountain of papier-mâché representing a desert island. We women, heavily made-up, covered in swirls of cheap lace and garter belts and long strands of garish beads, would bare our breasts if need be, as we frolicked around in Niki’s child-like, fairy tale environment. Painted plaster Nanas and feather dusters contrasted with props Jean produced: Tanks, canons, and rifles made from wood, metal, and any other scraps he found cluttering about the landscape. Niki directed.”


Patty, in the mid-seventies, leaning against her old barn in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Patty describes this photo as being "taken shortly after I moved here. I am standing against my barn that no longer collapsed one year when I was in NYC...I think it expresses the exhaustion I must have been feeling at the time...I bought the house in 1974...moved here May Day 1975...A wreck of an old farm site...the house was built in horrible shape...I sold lots of Oldenburg art works to fix the joint up...It looks rather new now...still cold as hell...”



Archive Description

The Patty Mucha Archive is divided into three categories:

1) Patty Mucha manuscripts, journals and related items: one carton

2) Correspondence, manuscripts and ephemera: four cartons

3) Artworks, relics and oversize: one carton

Approximately 6 linear feet

. Folder List

Adorno/Klüver/Dupuy, Olga
Alvarez, Maria
Andre, Carl
Artschwager, Richard
Ashley, Mary
Atkinson, Brendan and Janet
Atlanta Public Library
Avedon, Richard
Aylon, Helene
Baker, Betsy
Baracks, Barbara
Barr, Victoria
Bellamy, Dick
Bellamy, Miles
Berkson, Bill
Bourdon, David
Bradshaw, David
Brainard, Joe
Brakhage, Stan
Brodey, Jim
Breer, Robert
Brown, Rebecca
Burton, Scott
Cage, John
Carrol, Paul
Charlip, Remy
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Copley, Noma
Copp, Fletcher
Corbett, Bill
Corso, Gregory
Craven, Jay
Creeley, Robert
Davis, Bevan and Michele
Deacon, Richard
de Kooning ,Willem
DeLeeuw, Randall
De Maria, Walter
Denney, Alice
Dine, Nancy
DiPalma, Ray
di Prima, Diane
Dix, Byron E.
Dupuy, Augustin
Dupuy, Jean
Dylan, Bob
Early, Marcia
Ed (from Corfu)
Edelheidt, Martha
Edwards, Karen
Eisenhauer, Lettie Lou
Elmslie, Kenward
Ervin, Terrance
Ettenberg, Frank
Fählstrom, Öyvind
Fisher, Joel
Forti, Simone
Frascone, Angela
Gilman, Peter
Ginsberg, Allen
Giorno, John
Gitin, Maria
Godfrey, John
Goldberg, Mike
Gonzales, Manuel
Gray, Darrel
Greenberg, Harry
Grofsky, Maxine
Gross, Mimi
Guerilla Art Action Group
Gross, Sally
Gutman, Walter
Hartman, Yuki
Harvey, Emily
Haseloff, Charles
Hay, Deborah
Hell, Richard
Hendricks, Geoff
Hendricks, Jon
Henri-Ford, Charles
Hickman, Annie
Higgins, Dick
Hoffman, Abbie
Hollo, Anselm
Holman, Bob
Houlberg, Barbara
Hoyen, Andrew
Huang, Al Chung
    (Chungliang Huang)
Hulten, Pontus
Irvine, Chippy
Janis Gallery
Jarvis, Barbara
Johns, Jasper
Johnson, Ray
Johnston, Jill
Joseph, Branden
Kaprow, Allan
Kligman, Ruth
Kim, Ann
Klüver, Billy and Julie Martin
Knott, Bill
Kohloff, Ralph
Kogelnik, Kiki
König, Kasper
Kopelman, Rudolph
Kostelanetz, Richard
Kron, Joan and Audrey Sobol
Krauss, Ruth
Langley, Michael
Laughlin, James
Lederer, Bill
Lerner, Michael
Levine, Les
Lichtenstein, Roy
Lippard, Lucy
Lobel, Michael
Malanga, Gerard
Manupelli, George
Martin, Tandy
Masters, Greg
Mathews, Harry
Mattingly, George
Mayer, Bernadette
McElroy, Bob
Mikolowski, Ken and Ann
Milwaukee Art Museum
Miscellaneous New York
Miscellaneous–Poets and Authors
Miscellaneous (unknown author)
Morris, Robert
Morrow, Charlie
Morton, Jay
Mucha, Patty
Murphy, Duncan
Myers, Frosty (Forrest)
Nakhova, Irina
Nauman, Bruce
Nomland, John
Neugroschel, Joachim
Ogden, Don
Öhrner, Annika
Oldenburg, Claes
Oldenburg, Gosta and Elsie
Oldenburg, Lisa
Oldenburg, Richard and Mel
Ono, Yoko and John Lennon
Östlin, Barbro
P.S. 1
Padgett, Ron
Paris Review
Paxton, Steve
Phaidon Press
Picard, Lil
Pizer, John
Poets Mimeo Coop
Press, David (Jazz Gallery)
Rainer, Yvonne
Rauschenberg, Robert
Rivers, Clarice
Rivers, Larry
Rockburne, Dorothea
Roos, Tonie
Rosenquist, James
Rubin, Jerry
Samaras, Lucas
Sanders, Ed
Saroff, Raymond
Saturday Press
Schiff, Harris
Schlicter, Joe
Schneeman, Carolee
Shameless Hussy Press
Shields, Alan
Smith, Jack
Sonnabend, Ileana
Springs, L.I. Poems
St. Johnsbury Television Co-op
Steinem, Gloria
Stella, Frank
Stern, Jane and Michael
Stevenson, Charles
Strider, Marjorie
Sundance Magazine
Swan, Simone
Ting, Walasse
Tirsch, Judy
Torn, Rip
Towle, Tony
Tyler, Richard O.
Vanderbeek, Johanna
von Born, Heidi
Waldman, Anne
Warhol, Andy
Wehrer, Anne
Wessleman, Claire
Whalen, Philip
Wilcock, John
Willard, Nancy
Williams, Emmett
Wylie, Andrew
Young, La Monte and Marian Zazeela
Youngerman, Jack
Youth International Party
Zaleski, John
Zavatsky, Bill
Zucker, Barbara